Parliament passes organic law on fight against racial discrimination [Update]
09/10/2018 20:00, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - The House of People’s Representatives (HPR), on Tuesday afternoon, passed Organic Law No. 11 of 2018 on the elimination of all the forms of racial discrimination, with 125 votes for, 1 against and 5 abstentions.

"Is considered racial discrimination any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference on the basis of race, color, descent or any other form of racial discrimination within the meaning of ratified international conventions, which is capable of 'impeding or preventing the enjoyment or exercise, on the basis of equality, of rights and freedoms, or entailing additional duties and charges,” according to Article 2 of that law.

The purpose of this Act is to eliminate all forms and manifestations of racial discrimination in order to protect the dignity of the human being and to establish equality between individuals with respect to the enjoyment of rights and the fulfillment of their duties, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and international conventions ratified by the Republic of Tunisia.

It sets out procedures, mechanisms and measures to prevent all forms and manifestations of racial discrimination, to protect its victims and to punish its perpetrators.

The law provides for the creation of a national committee called "the National Commission against Racial Discrimination", responsible for designing and proposing strategies and public policies as well as collecting data and conducting public awareness campaigns to fight against all forms of racial discrimination.

 Under this law, the State is required to set policies, strategies and action plans capable of preventing all forms and practices of racial discrimination and is committed to spreading the culture of human rights, equality, tolerance and acceptance of the other among the different components of society.

The State also implements and supervises the implementation of integrated awareness-raising and training programmes against all forms of racial discrimination in all public and private bodies and institutions.

Government spokesperson Iyed Dahmani stressed the existence of a real political will to enact this law to protect Tunisian citizens and foreign nationals.

He regretted the existence of racist acts in Tunisia, which was one of the first countries to abolish slavery and to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 1967.

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